The Best University Teachers in Australia

Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Australian University Teacher of the Year 2014.
Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Australian University Teacher of the Year 2014.

Griffith University can officially declare it has the best teachers in Australia. Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet from Griffith’s QueenslandConservatorium has been named Australian University Teacher of the Year.

The announcement was made by the Federal Minister for Education, The Honourable Christopher Pyne MP, at an awards ceremony in Canberra.

The Australian University Teacher of the Year award recognises an academic with an exceptional record of advancing student learning, educational leadership and scholarly contribution to teaching and learning. It has a value of $50,000.

And in an extraordinary achievement, Griffith received a further four prestigious Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Vice ChancellorProfessor Ian O’Connorhas warmly congratulated Associate Professor Bartleet and the other Griffith winners.

“These awards are an acknowledgment of the quality teaching and outstanding contributions made to student learning here at Griffith,” Professor O’Connor said.

“I am so very proud that the commitment and dedication of Associate Professor Barleet and her fellow recipients has been recognised on the national stage.”

In addition to the Teacher of the Year Award, Associate Professor Bartleet also received an Award for Teaching Excellence for her work in the development of innovative practices and community engagement initiatives in music learning and teaching. She is a national leader in arts-based service learning with First Peoples and internationally recognised as a catalyst for the creation of learning programs that mobilise and connect students, educators and community partners.

Associate Professor Leonie Rowan, from Griffith’sSchool of Education and Professional Studies, is another recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award. Associate Professor Rowan has made an extensive practice and scholarly contribution to developing our “teachers of the future”. She has been particularly influential in developing transformative strategies to facilitate quality educational outcomes for diverse learners. In 2013, Associate Professor Rowan was awarded the Australian Teacher Education Association: Teacher Educator of the Year.

The Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy (GELES),implemented by Ms Pamela Humphreys, Dr Ben Fenton-Smith, Dr Ian Walkinshaw, Dr Rowan Michael, Dr Ana Lobo, Mr John Smith and the Student Linx Team, received the Award for Programs and Teams that Enhance Student Learning.

GELES is designed to enhance the academic success of both international and domestic students with English as an Additional Language (EAL) background. Its systematic service delivery across the student life cycle is unique in Australia and a series of state, national and international awards have benchmarked GELES as best practice in its field.

The Griffith University Widening Tertiary Participation Program for Pasifika Communities (Pasifika),implemented by Ms Suzanne Wilkinson (Lead), Ms Glenda Stanley, Mrs Francella Timu, Dr Judith Kearney, Ms Martina Donaghy andAdjunct Associate Professor Barrie O’Connor, was also acknowledged with the Award for Programs and Teams that Enhance Student Learning.

This program supports Pasifika peoples by encouraging aspirations for university study, building the capacity of future and current Griffith University students, and enhancing community engagement with higher education.The program has received recognition at state, national and international levels and has been influential in shaping education policy for Pasifika students.

Academic Provost Professor Adam Shoemaker also thanked the winners for their sustained contribution to outstanding learning and teaching at Griffith: “Added to the six out of six national citations we received mid-year, this is a terrific and well deserved achievement.”